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when you lose a piece of your heart

Monday, 21 April 2014

rip laura
my eulogy:
We lived with Laura through her chemotherapy, she was an absolute inspiration, she never once grumbled or complained, she never felt sorry for herself because even then the only people she thought about were others
As gobby as Laura was, occasionally she would say something so utterly astounding that it would be enough to silence any room.
For me this was during her first treatment when she was busy rolling her eyes at the overbearing nurses, she suddenly went quiet. Being nosy I asked what she was thinking. She turned to me, and said simply "I'm really glad it's me and not meg that's ill because she was born to be a mum". She was the best friend any of us could have ever hoped for.

Grief is a funny little bugger isn't it? One minute you feel fine and the next you are weeping into a bag of skittles or onto the shoulder of that stranger on the bus that smells like quavers. I realised when we lost Laura that young people aren't really cut out for grief, we don't really know what to 'do' when we lose someone we love -  we just float around in a bubble, numb and angry. Between Laura's death and her funeral I wrote something down every day to see if the acclaimed 5 Stages of Grief  which is denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, has any relevancy for the younger generation. My conclusion.. ridiculous and demonstrative to try and reduce such a raw emotion to clinical stages!

  I don't want to scare anyone but I don't think we ever truly 'get over' loss. Losing someone you love is like losing a little piece of your heart, it can't be undone. You can however become a more optimistic and resilient person as a result of it, grief teaches you things about yourself that love never could. Grief has actually helped me like the person that I am more because it has shown me what kind of friend I am and how strong you can be if you invest your love in people who deserve it. One year on and there are still moments where my throat catches and my eyes well up, it might be a song from her funeral or just remembering making terrible, terrible baked goods together in our dressing gowns - these are things I will never forget.
From this post I want you to take two things whether you have lost someone or not, because they really are important to remember if you ever do lose someone or have a friend going through something similar.
1) it is ok to feel upset or angry or sad, but please do not isolate yourself because other people might need you even if you don't need them
2) don't waste your life being afraid. You have to grab life by the proverbial gentials and make sure that you live the life you want to lead to the fullest because some people don't get the chance

As Frodo says at the end of the return of the king:

How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart, you begin to understand, there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep.. You cannot always be torn in two. You will have to be one and whole for many years. You have so much to enjoy, and to be, and to do. Your part in the story will go on. 

Above all, remember joyfully and gratefully - life is so precious.
love lisette x

thankful thursday

Thursday, 17 April 2014

HAPPY THURSDAY! And yes it is bank holiday.. I am just smitten with the idea of a few extra days off. I have a pretty big weekend coming up, I'm making the pilgrimage up to York to meet up with some uni friends and some of Laura's nearest and dearest to mark the 1 year anniversary of her death. Not in a dour, miserable way but one full of food and happy memories of our little ginger gypsy. This week I am thankful for:

sunshine: it finally feels like spring, at work I can hear the lambs in the fields and I can see the little bunnies hopping around, the sky is blue and the fields are a beautiful vibrant yellow

"gurning": where things/ people make you smile on such an inescapable and visceral level that you physically can't keep the corners of your mouth downturned

being alive: might sound horribly cliche but I don't think I will ever want to take my health, relative sanity, and general aliveness for granted at this time of year

What does everyone have planned for the big bank holiday weekend?
love lisette x

lisette loves | crumble

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Happy happy tuesday folks! I am in a mighty good mood this evening as I am now half way through my work week with easter bank holiday in the horizon. Now, anyone who knows me will know that food makes me happier than pretty much anything.. if you can't buy happiness you can sure as hell bake it! I've had a hankering for crumble for about a week and a half but I'm so fickle I just can't decide which one to make. I've narrowed it down to the following contenders strawberry and ginger, traditional apple and spices, pear and amaretto and apple and blackberry. Which do you reckon / have you got any more suggestions and family favourites?
love lisette x

thankful thursday

Thursday, 10 April 2014

I have spent all week willing the weekend closer because at the moment the weekends bring a whole lotta smiles. Now it is within my grasp I am like golem.. my precious is so. damn. close I can almost taste it. I took part in the #lbloggers chat last night, because I have been really busy with sunday burrito nights recently I keep missing the sunday chats - I remembered how supportive and lovely you all are. I've missed you! This week I am thankful for:

having a new happy sound track - things like this - songs which make me smile

finding this gem of a cinema - the oldest in the country - and you can text food and drink orders throughout the film and they bring it to your seat. To your seat like a butler!

awkward encounters, surprise salsa, getting lost, the fly and all things related

looking through old photographs of my grandparents so young and in love - makes me want to take more photos of the people I love

This weekend I am doing a spot of shopping and heading back to the electric cinema with someone tall, dark and pretty handsome (don't tell him that or his ego will inflate to Cowell-esque proportions). I'm so happy at the moment and I get to be reunited with my friends soon which always brightens the darkest of days. What are you thankful for this week?
love lisette x

lisette loves | pecan pie

Saturday, 5 April 2014

300g halved pecans
3 beaten eggs
500g shortcrust pastry
175g golden syrup
175g maple syrup
1tsp vanilla extract
100g golden caster sugar
75g softened butter

what do you call a pillaging pastry?
a pierate..
Yes. A pie joke.. what of it?! You've seen the pie here but I was getting so many recipe requests I couldn't hold out on you any longer. My pie secrets are secret no more and once you realise how easy it is, you will scoff at it (pun very much intended).

01. Roll out a block of shop bought shortcrust pastry- yes.. I can feel you recoiling, the horror - the horror. I chose to use unsweeteened because I thought it would be too sickly otherwise.

02. Lay over flan or pie dish and press into place - leave a fair bit of excess at it will shrink when cooked. Prick a few times with a fork, put down a layer of greaseproof paper and weigh down with rice or baking beans.

03. Cook for 10 minutes 190C/170 fan or until golden - this is known as blind baking.. warning this is not baking with your eyes shut.. trust me on this one!

04. Toast the pecans in the oven whilst blind baking and chop the pecans roughly leaving enough halves to decorate the top - the chopped nuts create a better texture according to my extensive pie research!

05. Cream together the butter and sugar, add the syrups, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Add the pre-beaten eggs gradually and then tip in the chopped nuts.

06. Pour into cooled blind baked case and bake for 10 minutes at 200C/190 fan then turn down to 160C/140 fan and bake for a further 30-35 minutes.

07. Leave to cool before serving with heaps mountains of cream - from what I've read it is best the next day but will keep up to about 7 days in the fridge.

A few tips.. really do invest in ceramic baking beads they are so worth it and if you find that you pastry has puffed up and lost its shape stick a knife through the bottom and that should remove some of the air!

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!
love lisette x
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